KINGSTON — The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) plans to engage in consultations with members of the physically challenged community, particularly the visually impaired, to see how best they can be incorporated in the development and implementation of the country’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.
This move is expected to complement the planned distribution of some 500 copies of the Braille translation of the 88-page popular version of the original 400-page Vision 2030 Jamaica document, to facilitate stakeholder access.
Last week, presentations were made to some six agencies and organisations that support the visually challenged, as well as the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), and the Centre for Disability Studies, University of the West Indies (UWI) at a function held at the Jamaica Society for the Blind’s Old Hope Road offices in Kingston.
PIOJ’s Director General, Dr. Gladstone Hughes, indicated then, that the Braille translation will assist in achieving and fulfilling Vision 2030 Jamaica’s fundamental principle, of facilitating “the inclusiveness of all key target groups in our society in the transformation of Jamaica into …the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business”.
Communications Specialist for Vision 2030 Jamaica, Carmen Miller, told JIS News that, having commenced distribution, stakeholders will be engaged in follow-up consultations to discuss the document’s provisions and facilitate a better understanding of it; explore the role they can play in its implementation; and examine the accruable benefits.
“Just giving books doesn’t mean that persons have gotten the message, so, as we are doing with other target groups, with the schools, with community groups, we will also be doing with our various stakeholders (in the visually and physically challenged communities). We have to ensure that everyone has access to the information, this is why, from the onset, we decided that we were going do whatever we could to include everyone,” she stated.
She said that the PIOJ is “toying with the idea” of producing a similar format for the 400-page document.
Ms. Miller informed that copies of the Braille translation will also be distributed to JLS’ parish and branch libraries and book mobiles islandwide, “to ensure that at least a copy available, so persons can come in and read at their convenience”.
The Braille format was prepared by the Special Education Unit, Ministry of Education, with whom the PIOJ has partnered on the undertaking.
Meanwhile, the National Library of Jamaica is working on audio books of the Vision 2030 Jamaica popular version, which should be ready by June.
Ms. Miller informed that video clips are also in production, as the agency seeks to reach the youth. These should be completed in early May. “We will be getting the key messages, through these clips, (out), which we will post on YouTube, we will have them on television, (and) we will use them in small group interactions, etc,” she said.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter